textiles · exploration · misadventure

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Oxalis Affection


Thank you to everyone who visited and left comments over the past month, as I’ve been so sick. I never expected this to become a place where I would post about that kind of thing, and even less expected it to be a place to receive support.

It’s kind of magical, how strangers visit your blog and leave comments, and you talk back and forth, and somehow you are no longer strangers, but friendly acquaintances, and sometimes even mutual support. You’ve been really great and helpful you guys. I THANK YOU.
cotton (2)
cotton (3)Since I’ve been sick, I have a huge backlog of posts to write, all kinds of things I’ve been doing, albeit s l o w l y.

I’m easing myself back in with pictures of washed and dried Oxalis dyes. At left are some pictures of the cottons, many of which turned from yellow to tomato when I put them in the wash.

It was such a weird thing, but I lovelovelove them.

I love their green and rust and grey speckles. I love their unpolished and chaotic appearance.

The two at top and bottom, with the more brilliant and defined color, are ecoprints. In other words, I placed Oxalis flowers and leaves directly on the fabric before wrapping it around copper pipe and steaming it. Traditional ecoprint results are more in line with these, where the shape of leaves and flowers are clear and discernible. Nevertheless, I do like this more amorphous look, the unpredictable splashes of unexpected rusty red mixed with leafy green.

At left and right are more solid yet speckled cottons. These were popped straight into the dyepot, stirred a bit, and left overnight to pick up what color they could. Again, I love their amorphous non-solidity. In my eyes they have depth and character. I encourage you to click on the pictures, and look at the fabrics closer in.

And THEN… there are the WOOLS!

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Again: adore. Weak in the knees.

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The wool in the top two pictures at left are a flat, soft wool, breed unknown.

In the top picture, there is a dip-dyed job sandwiched between two pieces that were thrown into the dyepot at different times: one at the beginning of the session and one near the end, trying to exhaust the dye.

The second picture is the same wool, with an attempt at ecoprinting. Oxalis was placed on the fabric, which was rolled around copper pipe, steamed, and then tossed right into the dyepot with the rest of the fabrics and the Oxalis.

Colors and shapes are slightly more defined than with the cotton, but not wholly so. Nevertheless, the brilliancy and saturation of the color is impressive, and the portions of dyed fabric that show tie-marks are luscious.

Nailhead wools, left is dip dyed, right just plopped into the dyebath.

Nailhead wools, left is dip dyed, right just plopped into the dyebath.

At left are what I think is called ‘nailhead,’ a subtle squarish weave, and they took the dye beautifully. One has been dip dyed, or slowly lowered into the dyebath over several hours. I love the depth of shade on these, the complexity. It’s not just green, or yellow, or brown, but all three, and a lot of somethings in between.

wools (12) And then, these. I’ve decided I love these.

At first, I wasn’t sure, but they grew on me. They’re a little incoherent, definitely unplanned, but I think they’re interesting. They’re the same wool; both were bundled with Oxalis and steamed for an hour, then the one on the right was plonked into the dyepot, while the other was left alone.

At left the variegated tie-marks and the faint, veiny tracery of Oxalis stem fascinate me. At right, tie-marks are an outline rather than dyed, and the portion of the wool that was exposed to the dye is richly saturated. They make me say something like, “I just don’t know, I’m not sure, but I think there’s something here.”

Something further to explore.